Photography is defined simply as taking photographs. In a bit more technical terms, photography is the capturing of light to create a two dimensional image on a medium such as film or digital media. Photography can be beneficial both for financial gain or personal pleasure. Those who do photography as a hobby find that it can be very fulfilling, while those who do it for a living can find that the better their photography is the more financially rewarding it can be.
Photographic technology has been rapidly advancing in recent years. During the film camera era, advances were slow. But in the digital camera era, the advances in technology have been rapid.
While the 35mm film SLR camera was an excellent photography device in the hands of a professional, the modern digital SLR cameras can provide nearly anyone with great photographs. “Once the 35mm film SLR camera was the camera to own but now, there are digital SLR cameras like the Canon Rebel Xti that give the photographer great results with less frustration than their film counterparts” says Minneapolis photographer Bob Dale.
Black-and-white photography, color photography, and digital photography are the three main styles of photography in use today.
This is the most popular variation of monochrome photography. Early photography was done in black and white. Black and white photography continues to be very popular because the shadows and coloring displayed in black and white photography give it some artistic appeal. “Today Black-and-white photography is associated with “fine art” photography, as in the style of Ansel Adams landscape photos or the George Hurrell style of Hollywood portraits” says professional digital photographer Bob Dale.
Other types of monochrome photography are used for special uses to create artistic views of a subject in various hues of a color. Cyanotype photography is an example of using the monochromatic hues of cyan to create a photograph of cyan and white tones.
While mainstream color photography technology has only been around for several decades, color photography could be captured by scientists to some extent as early as the middle of the 19th century. Early color photography simply faded over short periods of time, but by 1861, James Clerk Maxwell managed to develop a permanent color photograph. These first color photographs were taken by three separate cameras capturing three separate colors.
More than 40 years later, in 1907, Autochrome color photography became possible for professional photographers. It was 1932 when Agfacolor film came out. Modern color film came out with the 1935 Kodachrome film. Another big moment in color photography was the introduction of ‘instant’ color film by Polaroid in 1963.
Digital photography took things to all-new levels. Digital photography isn’t limited by the capabilities of film for its capture and storage of images. Images are translated from a sensor into a digital format that is immediately recorded to an electronic memory storage unit.
These digital photos can be easily handled, manipulated, shared, displayed, or printed. Simply hooking the digital storage device up to a computer or a printer will allow the photographs to be quickly printed out at as high quality prints.
Most photography professionals who specialize in portrait photography or wedding photography choose digital SLR cameras. Digital SLR cameras give the photographer the ability to print out quick proof sheets so the customers can quickly pick out which photographs they want to buy.
Wedding photography is a complex form of portrait photography that requires the camera to have special capabilities that only digital SLRs have, such as making adjustments in low-light situations without a flash. The photographer also needs to be able to take great photographs of the dress, cake, and guests and quickly review them to make sure they’re good before the opportunity passes by them.
Owning a digital camera is now easier than ever. The price for an entry-level camera has dropped significantly over the past few years, and this can be attributed to increased competition among digital camera manufacturers. There are small digital cameras that cost under $100, and these are great for the casual photographer who just wants to take pictures of friends and family.
As you become more experienced in digital photography, you may want to bring your hobby to the next level with a more advanced digital camera. You may even want to make a living off digital photography.
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